If We Don’t Believe one of the “Hyper” Points, does that Mean We are not “Hyper”?

Many of those who critique “hyper-Calvinism” like to lump several ideas together, with the conclusion that if you hold one of these ideas, you most likely hold all the other ideas. And it doesn’t matter anyway, because they will stick the label “hyper” on you even if you believe in only one of the ideas.

I could reverse this by saying that there is a “hyper” package and that if a person fails to believe one of the points, then that person shouldn’t be called “hyper”. But then that raises the question: how many points can you not believe and still be “hyper”?

Of course the greater question is which points go together in your list of what defines “hyper”. There are some like Curt Daniel who say that the simple unwillingness to use the word “offer” (since it’s often associated with the idea that God desires in some way to save the non-elect) makes you a “hyper”. Others would say that the willingness to use the word “election” when you are talking about the gospel makes you “hyper”. And many think that even affirming effective definite atonement makes you “hyper”.

I propose that we don’t use the word “hyper” and simply specify the objections. “Strict Baptists” ( a specific denomination with its own magazine and organization in England) bases the duty of the non-elect on the ability of the non-elect. Since they know that the non-elect have no ability, they deny that the elect have any duty to believe the gospel.

I don’t need to call these people “hyper”. Rather, I will say that they have a false gospel which attempts to discover regeneration and ability before one is warranted to believe the gospel. The problem here is not mainly the power to believe the gospel. The problem is more about WHAT IS THE GOSPEL.

Of course nobody has the duty to believe that Christ died for him or her, or that Christ died for everybody. Christ did not die for everybody. And we can and should say that in the gospel. But without turning the gospel into a law, we can tell everybody the good news that Christ died for the elect alone.

Christ’s death for the elect alone is good news. It’s gospel to say that all for whom Christ died will be saved. It’s not gospel to tell people falsely that Christ died for them. And this is true, whether you are an Arminian saying that based on the idea that Christ died for everybody or whether you are saying it as a Strict Baptist who thinks we can know we are elect and regenerate before we believe the gospel.

So let’s not use the word “hyper”. Let’s talk about what the gospel is. And when Calvinists get the gospel wrong, for example by teaching that the elect are never under the wrath of God (eternal justification), then let’s specify the error instead of merely throwing out the label “hyper” which is nothing but an insult and a label and not an explanation.

Right now I want to quote from Matthew McMahon, a person who lumps different ideas together and makes them into a “hyper” package which he then critiques. I reference McMahon, not because he’s the worst of the guys who do this. (That would be Phil Johnson, a person who has clearly not repented of his Arminianism.) Indeed, McMahon can be very careful and seems to know the history of debates about “offers” etc.

Here’s the quotation: “What the Hyper-Calvinist is really saying is this: Hyper-Calvinism believes that knowledge of the extent of the atonement is a prerequisite for faith in the work of Christ. Again, the sinner must obtain and understand his subjective experience of the work of Christ for him personally. If he does not have this, then he is commanded to believe something that may not be true at all. The Hyper-Calvinist cannot stomach this.”

Now, I could object to the phrase “what he is really saying”. This means, he’s not saying it, but he should say it if he were consistent with other things he says, or at least I think so. I think we need to be careful when we do this, to realize what we are doing and to acknowledge what we are doing. But notice I say: we. We all do this. It’s our way of disagreeing. We point to one thing in common that we don’t believe, and then we say, if you believe one thing, then logically you have to believe this other thing, which we agree we don’t believe.

So let the “really saying” pass. Let the label “hyper” pass. The problem with the McMahon quotation is that he is lumping together two things and confusing them. One thing is knowledge of the extent of the atonement. Another thing is knowledge (because of some experience) that a person has that he is elect. These are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

It is one thing in the proclamation of the gospel to say that you need to know the extent to know the nature and intent of the atonement. I think this is true. I know many say that most of the Bible doesn’t talk about the extent, and then they go to Acts or to the Old Testament to argue from the “silence about election” they perceive there to argue for a gospel which must necessarily leave out election.

I won’t do that debate here, except to say a. that the argument often becomes an exercise in simply saying that the Bibe doesn’t talk about election. Period. And b. It becomes an argument that it honors Christ to talk about His Atonement before we ever talk about Election (or whose sins were imputed to Christ).

But again, I don’t want to talk about that now. There are 400 essays on this blog talking about that. In cynical but realist terms, it amounts to saying—let’s keep preaching the same Arminian gospel we claim to have been saved by, since we never repented of that, but only added some things to that. Or as I say it: let’s accomodate Arminians, beause I too am also an Arminian. (See John Piper for an explicit statement to that effect.)

But like I said, two paragraphs back, I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about Mcmahon’s confusion of two ideas. The extent of the atonement and the idea that “the sinner must obtain and understand his subjective experience of the work of Christ for him personally. ”

I don’t believe that second thing. Most of the people I know who believe that the gospel talks about the extent of the atonement don’t believe that second thing. We know you can’t have an experience of knowing you are elect before you believe the gospel. So we don’t believe that second thing.

But Mcmahon puts the two things together. Without argument, he simply assumes that if you talk about extent in the gospel, then you will
be one of those persons trying to find your election in some experience before you think you can believe the gospel.

By the way, while I don’t oppose the language of “duty” and “command”, that language is not necessarily how the Bible talks about the gospel. And more importantly, if you are elect being effectually called, and you understand your problem, and you begin to understand the gospel (election is good news, not bad news!), then “duty” is not really the most apt word–rather, you WANT TO believe the gospel, it’s your delight, it’s your only hope.

I want to wrap up. To review, McMahon is saying two things and confusing them.

One thing: “Hyper-Calvinism believes that knowledge of the extent of the atonement is a prerequisite for faith in the work of Christ.”

Second thing: “The sinner must obtain and understand his subjective
experience of the work of Christ for him personally. If he does not
have this, then he is commanded to believe something that may not be
true at all.”

Of course the second thing involves the “what is the gospel question”. The Strict Baptist is correct to object to telling a person who may not be elect that Christ died for them. But the Strict Baptist is wrong to think that the gospel tells anybody they are elect. The gospel says that the true Christ died for the elect alone. The gospel does not tell you to first found out if your are elect and it certainly will not tell you that you are elect before you believe it.

from Glad Tidings, by Abraham Booth

p182, “If by ‘an awakened sinner’ it is taught that no one is commanded to depend on Christ for pardon and peace unless possessed of a more holy disposition, he must necessarily be more solicitous to find evidence of that prerequisite existing in his own heart, than to understand and believe what the gospel says concerning Christ.”

p223, “The Scriptures will not permit our concluding that any pious affections are possessed by sinners before they receive the truth and believe in Christ. If we really love and revere God, it is because He first loved us, because there is forgiveness with him, because that love for the elect has been revealed in the glad tidings of reconciliation.”

p228–”For sensible sinners to think that they dare not and ought not to believe and embrace Christ, till they be more deeply humbled, and do more thoroughly repent of their sins, and be “more fit’ to receive him; this is but a gilded deceit and a trick of a false heart.”

p235–”The energy of the Holy Spirit applying the word of reconciliation to their hearts, the truth is believed and their enmity subdued, in the same instant. The gospel is the instrument whereby God brings the person forth in a new birth. We are said to be born of the Spirit, nowhere said to be born of the word, but “I have begotten you THROUGH the word.”

p238 “According to fatalism, the word of truth having no influence, is of no use in the work or regeneration, the salutary and important change being produced entirely without it…To imagine that a preparation of the mind, merely to receive the truth, is a change so great as to describe the expressions ‘born again’ or ‘born of the Spirit’ or ‘born of God’ is very unwarrantable…It is too hastily assumed that the mind is prepared to receive the light of spiritual knowledge before the truth have any influence on it.”

p247 “Now the question is: Do the Scriptures lead us to conclude that the mind and the conscience are brought into the new state by an immediate divine energy, without the medium of either the law or the gospel? I think not. It is written: by the law is the knowledge of sin. When the commandment came, sin revived and I died…

p249 “For an ‘awakened sinner’ to be persuaded to be persuaded that regeneration is effected without the instrumentality of divine truth, is to give an injurious direction to his prayers and expectations. He will pray for something under the notion of ‘regeneration’ in which the knowledge of Christ and a regard to His atonement have no concern…Neglecting the testimony of God concerning Jesus, he will be ready to look inside himself for some impulse to produce the important change.”.

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18 Comments on “If We Don’t Believe one of the “Hyper” Points, does that Mean We are not “Hyper”?”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    the ignorant Calvinist thinks you have to say that God wants to save the non-elect in order to preach the gospel to everybody and avoid being “hyper. Mark Jones vs Barbara Duiguid:
    Duguid critiques the idea that sanctification is 100% God and 100% us. She calls this “poor math” and “poor theology” (p. 124). Why? Because God always does his 100% perfectly, which means the reason we are failing is entirely our fault! She may be right about the poor math, but her critique of the theological truth is less than compelling…. Not only Gaffin but also many Reformed luminaries from the past, such as Jonathan Edwards (“But God does all, and we do all”) and Charles Spurgeon (“paradoxes are not strange things in Scripture, but are rather the rule than the exception”), note the “mysterious math” of sanctification.
    … Duguid’s suggestion that God cannot be disappointed in you (p. 48) or your level of sanctification is not only unfaithful to the Bible and the Westminster Confession (11.5), but also Newton.
    There is a sort of “hyper-decretalism” that runs throughout the book (e.g., pp. 125, 205). Duguid affirms that “spiritual growth is not up to us” (p. 48) – a statement that is open to potential misunderstanding.

    For a while now, I’ve thought that a lot of so-called “Calvinists” in the broader North American church are, unwittingly, hyper-Calvinists (doctrinally speaking)
    – See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/01/what-on-earth-is-a-100-calvini.php#sthash.DkYRcgEn.dpuf

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Mcregor Wright also did a hatchet job on “hypers”—

    Click to access HYPERCALessay.pdf

    Wright—–before the believer distinguishes him- or herself as one of those “chosen before the foundation of the world,” (Eph 1:4, Rom 8:28- 30), the general goodness of God which is “over all his works” (Ps 145:9), is common to believer and unbeliever, graciously given without any distinction of persons. Of course, once we are born again, God’s grace is multiplied towards us in many new and saving ways, and common grace merges naturally into saving or “special grace.” This is the standard Calvinist teaching. But the Hypercalvinist ignores all the references to common grace, and argues instead that if God foreknows who will believe and who not (John 6:64, Jude 1:4, Eph 1:5), then the goodness shown to the nonelect is really only preparing them for judgement, while the same rain is falling on them both at the same time. This sun and rain may seem to be physically common, but spiritually it is grace for the elect and judgement for the non-elect.

    Believers should then imitate this by doing physical good only to believers. Hypercalvinists might visit the sick within their own church community, but they don’t found hospitals. They might teach their own kids to read, but they don’t found schools. They don’t care about anyone but themselves, assuming that only they are “the elect.”

    We notice again that the practical result of the hypercalvinist argument is to restrict and minimize the believers’ responsibility to do good. The Hypers do not understand that not only has God commanded us to do good to all (Gal 6:10), “without respect of persons” (Jas 2:9), but that without the wide reach of common grace, civilization would not be possible. People from overseas are often amazed at the wonderful system of Interstate highways linking every large town in the United States. This Interstate road system was initiated by President Eisenhower as a Defense Bill, to facilitate the movements of the US armed forces in case this country was invaded by the communist nations. Likewise, it was the straight Roman roads, originally constructed for that not only facilitated trade throughout the Empire, but also carried the Gospel rapidly all over the Roman world. The first copy of the letter to the Romans, written in Corinth and carried by the woman deacon Phoebe, traveled over those roads to Rome, a journey of some 600 miles. The Roman road system blessed the believer and the unbeliever, the elect and the non-elect, just like the sun and rain did. So next time you drive up onto I-26 (old I-181) let it remind you of Ike Eisenhower and the doctrine of common grace. Both believer and unbeliever make good use of the Interstate highway system.

    Mark—As far as I can tell, Mcregor Wright neither affirmed or denied the “two wills” idea of an “offer” which wishes that the non-elect would be saved, but Wright does teach that God “loves” the non-elect…

    Wright— Restricting The Free Offer Of The Gospel The way we think of human responsibility also helps decide how we present Christ in our preaching. Most Baptists take it as obvious that when a person hears the Gospel presented faithfully and clearly, they are under a moral obligation to believe it. They think this because they believe that Truth is an attribute of God and to willingly reject Truth is really to reject God. Rejecting Christ involves a self-violation of the conscience. The sinner might not understand the Gospel, or he might not accept it because he has never heard it. Then, because ignorance somewhat limits responsibility, knowledge naturally increases responsibility. So the person who hears the Gospel and continues to reject it, is additionally responsible for this additional sin against God.

    Wright—The Hypercalvinist does not agree with this commonsense approach. He reasons that until the sinner is regenerated he cannot respond in faith to the Gospel, and because he cannot respond, “therefore” he is under no obligation to do so !

    Wright—It’s more than an offer; it’s a sincere promise. Even if I knew for certain that a particular person was not among God’s elect (which I could never know), it would still be true even of that person that “if only you will believe in Christ, you will be saved.” The fact that God foreknows that as a reprobate, he will never believe, does not logically alter the truth that if the condition were met, the result would be salvation. Calvinists therefore offer the Gospel and its attendant promises and blessings indiscriminately to everyone who will listen. That is, they offer Christ freely and openly “to all” in any audience before them.

    Hypercalvinism on the other hand, undermines both the urgency and the responsibility for evangelism. Historically, when a “Hyper” replaces a normal evangelistic Calvinist in the pulpit, the church attendance usually dwindles to a tight circle of loyal supporters claiming to be “the most consistent Calvinists,” yet who feel no sense of urgency about confronting the unbeliever with his responsibility to believe. It does not seem to occur to them that if people are not obligated to believe, their unbelief is not a sin, since they have incurred no guilt.

    Wright also comments on “eternal justification”

    There is necessarily a temporal element in justification, because it is justification by faith. Remarkably, the Hypercalvinist is not satisfied with this estimate of the matter. He argues that because in the purpose of God, the atonement of the cross is certain, it is “as if” it is already completed from eternity. The elect believer is actually justified by the death of Christ in his place, from eternity past. The Elect are therefore already eternally justified from their sins, even if there is no evidence of saving faith.

    Wright— some Hypercalvinists have gone still further again, concluding that if we are eternally justified, our sin amounts to nothing in practice, and “it makes no difference” whether we sin or not. The Elect may continue to sin with impunity.

    mark: The accusations of “hyper” always like to warn of “slippery slopes”. I myself do not agree with “eternal justification” but NOT BECAUSE I THINK OF JUSTIFICATION AS AN EXPERIENCE OF FAITH. Justification is in time because God’s imputation off Christ’s death is in time. But Wright makes no mention of imputation, and speaks only of regeneration and faith as experienced.

    Wright—-The Hypercalvinist leaps irrationally from the mind of God to the subjective event of our experience and from that to the non sequitur that “it doesn’t matter what we do,” in this case, sin or not. If this were true, it would also follow that believers would not need to believe in order to be saved.—–“believers” who have never believed ?

    Wright—It slides from “justified from eternity” to “may sin with impunity” without taking into account the Biblical truth that all born again believers begin to grow in grace or practical sanctification. Not only does Hebrews 12:14 warn us that “without holiness no one will see the Lord,” but Paul even tells us that having been saved by a faith not of ourselves, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has prepared beforehand (foreordained) that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:9- 10). For the true believer, good works are actually predestined by God, so naturally, we are happy to step into them by simple obedience day by day. Romans 8:29 says the same thing, that we are predestined to become conformed to the image of Christ. So real sanctification may be slow, but it is always present in the regenerated believer, although some of us may seem to have more of it than others. In fact, the word “saint” used of all believers in the New Testament, just means “one who is being sanctified

    Mark: Interesting but very tendentious reading of sanctified in Hebrews 10—-all the saints are not yet sanctified! I do agree with Wright when he writes—The mere fact that God intended from eternity to slay his Lamb, does not mean that the event was over and finished merely because its future reality was certain in God’s mind. Just because God’s plan is certain does not mean that it has actually happened. A plan is not a reality merely because it is certain of fulfillment. I suppose it’s pretty certain that the sun will rise tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow is already here.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Romans 3:22 –“the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe”.

    Romans 4:13–“the promise did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith….

    Phil 3:9–“and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that righteousness which comes through faith in Christ.”

    Robert Haldane, p194–“there are some who, strongly impressed with the great evil of making faith a work, have plunged into a contrary extreme, as if justification were independent of faith, or as if faith were merely an accidental or unimportant thing in justification. This also is a great error. Faith is as necessary in justification as the sacrifice of Christ itself, but necessary for a different purpose.”

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Andrew Fuller teaching a time lag between “regeneration” and faith. :

    “The author of Glad Tidings to Perishing Sinners (Abraham Booth is decidedly averse from all holy disposition of the heart preceding faith Abraham Booth considers the sinner an enemy to God at the time of his being justified. To be consistent, Booth must consider faith as having no holiness in its nature.

    Abraham Booth:”While a sinner is either stupidly inattentive to his immortal interests, or expecting justification by his own obedience, he will not come to Christ. It should seem, then, that aversion of heart from the gospel plan, or a desire to be justified by one’s own obedience, is no objection to coming to Christ; and that a sinner will come to him, notwithstanding this, provided he be right in speculation, and his conscience sufficiently alarmed. If so, there certainly can be nothing spiritual or holy in the act of coming.”

  5. markmcculley Says:

    strict baptists ask

    was Adam required, duty-bound to believe the gospel, when he was created, before he sinned?

    answer–no. 1 before sin there was no grace and no need for the gospel

    but 2. the thinking is that nobody should be required to do something Adam was not required to do

    which comes down to “ability decides responsibility”

    which makes Strict Baptists agree with Arminians—-the Arrminians saying duty thus ability, the Primitives saying no ability therefore no duty

    on the other side, the “modern question” (is faith a duty?) raised by Andrew Fuller

    and Fuller, like Edwards and Marrow, said yes duty because 1. a there is ability
    making a distinction between “moral ability” vs other inability, the old “you cannot because you will not” soundbite vs the “you will not because you cannot”

    but 2. also Fuller, and Edwards, and Marrow, said that Christ in some sense dead for all sinners, not dead for all to give them all new birth (tricky) but dead for all toe make them a offer, dead for all to make a governmental “propitiation” possible

    so, now which side am I on?

    definitely not on the Fullerite side

    but also don’t agree with the Strict Baptists on going back to what Adam could have done, the ability question

    two summary points

    1. the main thing is what is the gospel, not the duty to believe the gospel—people on both sides of the duty question are getting the gospel wrong, with both saying that “Jesus died for you”, with the Arminians meaning “died for everybody” and the Strict Baptist saying that your “preparation” allows you to then hear a “for you” gospel
    So focus on the gospel, not on the duty

    2. If I have to answer, is the duty of the non-elect to seek salvation by grace, to believe the true gospel, I would say yes

    Calvin quotation, p 575 Battles, Institutes 3:2:2

    “Faith properly begins with the promise, rests in it, and ends in it. For in God faith seeks life: a life that is not found in commandments or declarations of penalties, but in the promise of mercy, and only in a freely given promise. For a conditional promise that sends us back to our own works does not promise life unless we discern its presence in ourselves.”

    Faith seeks life. Faith does not come from knowing that we already have life. I am not denying that, once we believe the gospel, we know that we have life. But even when we know that we have life, we still believe the same gospel. That gospel promises life to the dead and ungodly.

  6. markmcculley Says:

    George Ella–“Repentance must come first. When God grants repentance, then we may speak of faith in the gospel but not before.”

    John Gill—“The gospel is a pure declaration of grace. The gospel has no command but all promises. ”

    Gill then attempts to escape Acts 17:30 by making it common natural repentance but not gospel repentance. Ella and Gill are both wrong to deny that God commands everyone to believe the gospel.

    John Calvin—Those who think repentance precedes faith instead of flowing from faith as the fruit by the tree (repentance being produced by faith) have never understood the nature of faith.

    Luke 17: 10 “In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves. We have only done our duty.

  7. markmcculley Says:


    Richard Mouw’s Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport (Zondervan, 2004) should be read by every Reformed-leaning Southern Baptist. No, he does not dot his “i’s” and cross his “t’s” like strict Calvinists. Neither does he offer much of a biblical defense for his Calvinist heritage. But we could all learn from the gentle tone of Mouw’s writing. Mouw exemplifies in this book the humble spirit that is often missing among Calvinists.

    Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport begins with the scene from the movie Hardcore, in which a man tries to explain the TULIP to a prostitute. Mouw, of course, sees the humor in the film’s stark presentation of Calvinist doctrines to someone who needs salvation before a theological treatise. But Mouw unapologetically comes down on the side of Calvinism all throughout the book. What the book becomes is a gentle apologetic for Calvinism that avoids the sterile theological debates in which Arminians and Calvinisms shout out Scripture passages to one another.

    Mouw’s chapter “Mere Calvinism” is a very helpful summation of Calvinist soteriology, and his willingness to avoid hang-ups over “Limited Atonement” is a breath of fresh air. I also found helpful his description of Kuyper and that stream of Calvinism.

    Two problems, however, surface in the book. The first is found in the basis of Mouw’s apologetic. Thankfully, he does not engage in the endless battle of Scriptural prooftexts used to justify one position over another. But his alternative is no better. The basis for his apologetic turns out to be personal experience. Several times, he mentions how he feels that Total Depravity is true. He grounds his Calvinist apologetic in experience, and that actually serves to undercut his arguments.

    The second problem is even greater, though it stems somewhat from the first. An entire chapter is dedicated to Mouw’s inclusivist understanding of salvation, in which he entertains “hopes and hunches” that those who do not profess faith in Christ may wind up in heaven anyway. He admits that Scripture doesn’t always seem to line up with this belief, but (experience again) Mouw feels that it might be so anyway.


  8. markmcculley Says:

    Gospel standard baptists–
    XXIV We believe that the invitations of the Gospel, being spirit and life,* are intended only for those who have been made by the blessed Spirit to feel their lost state as sinners and their need of Christ as their Saviour, and to repent of and forsake their sins. (Isa. 55:1, John 7:37, Prov. 28:13, Matt. 11:28-30, John 6:37.)
    XXVI We deny duty faith and duty repentance – these terms signifying that it is every man’s duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe (Gen. 6:5, Gen 8:21, Matt. 15:19, Jer. 17:9, John 6:44, John 6:65.

    XXIII Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them savingly to repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption.

    XXXIV We believe that any such expressions as convey to the hearers the belief that they possess a certain power to flee to the Saviour, to close in with Christ, to receive Christ, while in an unregenerate state, so that unless they do thus close with Christ, etc., they shall perish, are untrue, and must, therefore, be rejected. And we further believe that we have no Scripture warrant to take the exhortations in the Old Testament intended for the Jews in national covenant with God, and apply them in a spiritual and saving sense to unregenerated men.

    XXXV We believe that there are various degrees of faith, as little faith and great faith (Matt. 6:30, Matt. 15:28), that when a man is quickened by the blessed Spirit, he has faith given to him to know and feel he is a sinner against God (Luke 18:13), and that without a Saviour he must sink in black despair. And we further believe that such a man will be made to cry for mercy, to mourn over and on account of his sins(Matt. 5:4), and, being made to feel that he has no righteousness of his own (Isa. 64:6, Phil. 3:9), to hunger and thirst after Christ’s righteousness being led on by the Spirit until, in the full assurance of faith, he has the Spirit’s witness in his heart that his sins are for ever put away (Rom. 8:16, Eph. 4:30, Heb. 9:12, Heb. 9:26, Heb. 7:27, Heb.10:14); but that the faith is the same in nature as is imparted in his first awakenings, though now grown to the full assurance thereof.


  9. Mark Mcculley Says:

    there is only the one gospel, no hope for you
    or anybody if you do not believe the gospel

    the gospel not only commands you to believe the gospel, the gospel
    promises that all the elect will believe the gospel, the gospel
    promises as many as who believe the gospel will be justified

    and if anybody says, well I don’t like the sound of that, because it
    sounds too much like saying that it’s your faith which causes the
    atonement to work

    then just keep talking, because the gospel teaches that it’s atonement
    for the elect that causes the elect to believe the gospel

    and if you have repented of the false gospel, and if you do not
    believe the true gospel, then you cannot yet know that you are elect

    and I can tell you for sure, if you have not repented of thinking that
    your repentance and faith is the righteousness, then you do not yet
    believe the true gospel and you are not yet justified

    if you are worried about what the Arminians might think about you
    talking about faith, just keep talking (and quoting Scripture in

    II Thessalonians 2: 18 The Lord Jesus will destroy him and will bring
    him to nothing with the brightness of His coming…. They perish
    because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be
    saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a strong delusion in order
    that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they will be
    condemned—those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed
    unrighteousness. 13 But we must always thank God for you, loved by the
    Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation
    through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
    14 God called you to this through our gospel,

  10. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Philpot and Gadsby were antinomians, not only denying that the gospel has a command to be obeyed, but also confusing law and gospel, and thus concluding that there are no laws for Christians

    Philpot: “As for that religion which tells us we must rejoice, because
    believers are told in the Bible to rejoice always, it savors to me too
    much of man’s power and free will to be of God. The religion i want is
    of the Holy Ghost. I know nothing but what the Holy Ghost teaches me.
    I feel nothing but what the Holy Ghost works in me. . I believe
    nothing but what the Holy Ghost shows me. But it may be asked–Do you then set aside the two great commandments of the law–“You shall love he Lord your God” etc.. and “your neighbor as yourself?” No, on the contrary, the gospel as an external and internal rule fulfills

    Gadsby Question LXXVI. What is meant by the gospel in a more extensive
    sense? Answer. The above hings,TOGETHER WITH together with the precepts and ordinances enjoined on the church by Christ and His apostles, and the things connected therewith. Question LXXVII. Is the gospel, in all its branches, a sufficient rule of life to a believer
    in Christ? Answer. Yes; gospel precepts are the believer’s rule in the
    world, in the family, in the church, and in case of personal offences.

    Gadsby begs the question, Gadsby takes some of the commands of the New Testament and says that these LAWS ARE INCLUDED IN THE GOSPEL, and then says there is no law for Christians

    Is the Mosaic law the only law God gave?

    Are all humans born imputed with Adam’s guilt of disobeying the Mosaic law?

    I Corinthians 9: 21 To those who are without THAT LAW ,like one
    without that law—not being without God’s law but in-lawed to Christ’s
    law—to win those without that law.


  11. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Romans 1:17 The righteous will live by faith

    Antinomians teach that only Christ lives by Christ’s faith and
    that Romans 1;17 is not about anybody else believing

    Neonomians say that faith includes works, that faith is righteousness.
    On the other hand, antinomians say that sinners are justified before
    and without faith

    Antinomians say that sinners are justified regardless of their faith in Christ
    Antinomians argue that saying that we can’t be justified without faith
    in the gospel means a salvation not by grace

    But Romans 4:16 This is why the promise is by faith, IN ORDER THAT IT BE ACCORDING TO GRACE

    Antinomians teach that our faith must be in Christ’s faith

    but Romans 6:17 teaches that not only is Christ the object of faith
    but that Christ is present in power to create our faith in Christ

    Romans 6:17 you obeyed from the heart that gospel doctrine to which
    you were transferred

    Galatians 2:16 no one is justified by the works of the law but by
    faith in Jesus Christ.

    Isaiah 28:16 as many as who believe on Him will not be put to shame


    God is righteous and God justifies the ungodly.
    God is righteous because God is not a sinner.
    God is righteous and God has always done righteousness.

    Justified elect sinners are righteous only because of the
    righteousness of another.
    Justified elect sinners are only righteous because of the
    righteousness of somebody else has been imputed by God to them.
    God is not and never has been righteous because of the righteousness of somebody else

    But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately. 9
    We know that the law is not meant for the righteous but for sinners

    Since justified sinners are declared righteous, does this mean that
    God has no laws for justified sinners?

  12. Mark Mcculley Says:

    works previous to faith in the gospel prove nothing,
    but if faith in the gospel is previous to works, then the works do prove something?
    faith is not works
    works before or after jsutification prove nothing
    not a work of law, but a ‘faith work”, no matter— not by works
    before or after
    no coordination with Russia
    no coordination of faith and works in order to assurance and growth
    the non-elect condemned will perish “according to their works”

    phesians 2: 5 God made us alive with Christ even though we were dead
    in trespasses.

    “made alive” here does not mean “given spiritual life and new birth”

    because Christ was never “given spiritual life and new birth”

    Christ became legally guilty
    Christ became dead

    Christ became resurrected, after justification and redemption (not
    after regeneration)

    2 Corinthians 5:21 is not only “made a sacrifice for guilt”

    also “became sin” –made guilty by imputation

    I Corinthians 1: 30 no one can boast in God”s presence. 30 It is from
    God that you are in Christ Jesus who BECAME God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.

    if Jesus never obtained or BECAME our righteousness, then there is no news

    Hebrews 9:12, “Christ entered once for all into the holy places, not
    by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own
    blood, thus SECURING a permanent redemption

    Hebrews 9: 28 Christ having been offered ONCE IN TIME to bear the sins of many, will appear e SECOND TIME , NOT TO BEAR SIN, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

    different legal states—- how was Christ justified? Certainly not by
    becoming born again. Christ was justified by satisfying the righteous
    requirement of divine law for the sins imputed to Christ. Christ was
    justified by His death. Christ needed to be justified because Christ
    legally bore the guilt of His elect, and this guilt demanded His
    death. Christ was not justified because of His resurrection. Christ’s
    resurrection was Christ’s
    justification, and that declaration was because of Christ’s death.

    Romans 6:9–“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will
    never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the
    death he died he died to sin, once for all time

    • markmcculley Says:

      Romans 1:16 The gospelt is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believe 17 For in the gospel God’s righteousness is revealed ….The
      righteous will live by faith. 18 God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their
      unrighteousness suppress the truth,

      1 Corinthians 1:18. “The doctrine of the cros, is to us who are saved the power of God”

      If people don’t believe that IMPUTATION of Christ’s death changes an elect person from being under the wrath of God to being justifiedbefore God (not merely in conscience)

      and if these people don’t believe that IMPUTATION of the guilt of the elect to Christ changed the legal state of Christ before and after Christ’s
      death (Romans 6:9 Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him.10 For in light of the fact that
      He died, He died to sin once for all time.)

      then it’s not suprising that these same people would not believe that any infant will be condemned only by the imputation of Adam’s guilt .

  13. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Romans 6:11 Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ.

    Bill Parker, Reign of Grace Newsletter, August 2001—“The guilt of sin is that which keeps sinners under condemnation and wrath. BELIEVERS are not dead to the presence, power and influence of sin in their character and conduct, but the moment God brought them out of condemnation and into the blessed state of justification, based on the righteousness of Christ, they became totally and legally dead to the guilt of sin….”

  14. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Many Hyper-Calvinists do not believe that justification – being
    declared righteous based on the imputed righteousness of Christ –
    occurs at the time a person is regenerated. Instead, they believe that
    God’s elect are already declared righteous from before the foundation
    of the world. Some would say that God’s people were justified at the
    cross; however, this has the same implications for the unregenerate
    elect after the cross as eternal justification. These Hyper-Calvinists
    claim that eternal justification (or justification at the cross)
    glorifies God by taking the work of man out of the justification
    equation and that any who believe that faith and justification are
    inseparably connected believe in a form of salvation conditioned on
    the sinner.



  15. Mark Mcculley Says:

    2 Thessalonians 1: 7 the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t KNOW God and on those who don’t OBEY THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of lasting DESTRUCTION FROM THE
    PRESENCE of the Lord and from His glorious strength 10 in that day when He comes to be glorified by His saints and to be admired by all those who have BELIEVED

    2 Corinthians 5:11 Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade people.

    So why is Paul bringing up the judgmen , when Christians have already passed through the judgment by imputation? Paul brings up “the fear of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:11) because justified ambassadors need to remember that there are condemned people around them who have not yet been justified who need to hear the gospel and be commanded to be reconciled.

    We don’t say: well if Christ died for them, then they are already
    reconciled and justified. They are not. Nor do we even say: well, anyway, it’s sure to happen. God works in history. God imputes in time what Christ has paid for in time. And God uses the gospel as the message heard and believed by the elect as they are being justified John 5:24 As many as who hear My word and believes Him who sent Me has lasting life and will NOT COME UNDER JUDGMENT but has passed from death to life.

  16. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Sproul seems utterly unaware that Finney lauded Edwards as his great model and indignantly identified himself as a Calvinist in the struggle of Calvinism with “low Arminianism,” and deployed precisely the argument Edwards had made on natural and moral ability throughout his great revival campaigns  (and cited chapter and verse from Freedom of the Will to prove it).

    That Finney had a particularly coarse and brash way of using Edwards is true, but it is also beside the point. Even Finney’s notorious claim that revival was “a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means and not a miracle” was simply to say what Edwards had said about human choices being the right responses to motives. Some of Finney’s other unorthodoxies have similar Edwardsian roots, although there is no account of them here, either.

    Sproul takes no notice of how Edwards’s doctrine in Original Sin has no concept of immediate imputation, nor does he recall that in 1750 Edwards explicitly endorsed Joseph Bellamy’s teaching on unlimited atonement as “the proper Essence and distinguishing Nature of saving Religion. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1998/march2/8t3059.html

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